Dec 31, 2010

Family

Need a Break!
Half a family, that’s what it feels like.

If I had to give a point of view, I would discourage mixed marriages (religion wise) for this as one reason. My ex is not a Catholic.

This season, as I made my rounds with immediate family, what I realized is missing and have always missed is that extended family fellowship which my brother and sister enjoy with their in laws who are all Catholics. This Christmas it seemed to have hit me hardest probably because of the circumstances. We are like half a family.

It’s not just religion, but the fact is the in laws have been missing from the picture since the beginning of time. This is due to the nature of the relationship already existing prior to my entrance onto that different planet of my ex’s existence. Which goes to show you, when one is young the sign posts of life can glare you in the face and yet they are invisible.

It should not matter, but sometimes it feels too quiet and I crave that noise of family around me. Silence leaves a lot of room for pondering and wondering and I prefer to avoid that these days.

I’m not sure why I feel depressed, is it hormones or is it that the family’s not around for the New Year’s eve countdown, they have in-laws to be busy with, it’s just me and the kids. And the kids enjoy their cousins who will be busy elsewhere.
And I 'm really thinking, 'how inconsiderate of them, they forgot us, forgot me'... ..ok.. enough of that already move on.  Blame it on circumstances, I'm moody..... ....

think positive..... I’m dragging the kids out of the house tonight, there’s fireworks somewhere at some street party, we’ll go catch that at least, create our own fun (see if I remember how to dance ..) and have our own New Year’s celebration.

A Happy 2011 to all, God grant us peace and his gentle love in the New year.

Dec 22, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2011

It's my second blogging Christmas. And yes, I notice it 's a slow period for posts too.

I wish that was me in the pix above, just  X 2 on the waistline.. .. lol.


It has  been a year to remember in terms of upheavals. Honestly I'm glad it is over, I don't want to relive 2010 if given a choice.

Just wanted to leave you my wishes ..

May the good Lord bless you for your sharing.
May God spread his peace and grant you all his special blessings this season and in the coming New Year.
May He continue to bless our blogs and guide our minds and hearts as we circulate, meet and reach out to others through our posts. May those who are lonely where ever they are, find a blessed hand to reach out to touch them.

Enjoy the 'Carol of the Bells.'.


Love and hugs to all.
A Blessed Christmas and a Joyous New Year to you

Dec 10, 2010

I am weary

How many times,
must we take ourselves apart
and put the pieces together again ?

How soon before
our body mended, heart steady
grows instead from strength to strength ?

How often are we to be tested
our minds in a storm
and when can we return to norm ?.


(HA - 12/2010)

Dec 9, 2010

We are not Perfect

Why do I feel the need to defend my imperfections ?
We cannot be perfect in whatever we have chosen to do. But we can work hard at it and perform the best we can be. So why worry over what you are not doing right.  Instead, worry how you could do better.

In reading C S Lewis' Screwtape letters, I come to understand a little more about the purpose of our creator.
To fulfill our purpose on earth, we need to make ourselves worthy.
To make ourselves worthy, we need to forget our self.
By forgetting our self, we strive for others and improving their lot.

Truth and honesty is at the basis for all things we do. To others, to ourselves, to God.
What is our motive? Is it self-serving or God-serving? Sometimes the answer may not be so simple or to our liking but it comes down to that fact that we are not perfect and of course, God knows this.

We have weaknesses and our self-consciousness and selfishness keep us from freeing our thoughts totally when speaking to God.
Our temptation is drawn from our inner most wants and 
in Screwtape's(devil) words of instruction to his demon nephew-in-training....
"The simplest is to turn their gaze away from Him towards themselves. Keep them watching their own minds and trying to produce feelings there by the action of their own wills. When they meant to ask Him for charity, let them, instead, start trying to manufacture charitable feelings for themselves and not notice that this is what they are doing. When they meant to pray for courage, let them really be trying to feel brave. When they say they are praying for forgiveness, let them be trying to feel forgiven. Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling; and never let them suspect how much success or failure of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment."

I am not perfect. Accept it. 

Dec 4, 2010

Spring cleaning & reading habits

My last assignment was finally handed in and that weight is off my shoulders. It's time to prepare for Christmas.
It has been a year since I got the 5 ft tree. Last year I put it up alone, this year, the kids will do it.

The rainy season has kicked in too. Christmas is always wet for us, not white.

The personal stuff still weighs heavy on my mind but I am practicing at managing it.  Proceedings are not over yet, a couple of hurdles yet to go over what is called the 'ancillaries.'  But I am less worried over that.

Today saw the slow beginning of spring cleaning. The first are the children's bookshelves. There are so many good books and yet the boys who need to get in the most reading have the toughest time about it. They are not into my definition of 'good' books, they are into beast master,  monster,...  ghost and creature, ..power or action figure fiction.
I end up buying books they will read so that they do read.

Why is it so much harder for boys to read books than girls?

I was thinking maybe I should pay them to read the good books !

I had to make space painfully and so many of these books will have to go to the thrift shop because I know they will never get read at all here. So sad.

The new year will hold many new experiences for us, and keeping those in mind, I am looking forward to it.
Like the rain that washes the air clean, so too the new year will bring us a cleansing of the negative.

Nov 25, 2010

Reflecting: I want to put it in the past.

Some of you have an idea but some of you don’t quite know what, just that something is not right in my life. But it doesn’t really matter.
Only that you seem to be there still following my thoughts which lately seem to be as depressing as 'Wuthering Heights'. I thank you for sticking.

There are lots of victims with their stories and each seems to seek solace or answers or help others or just find relief in the telling. I’m not sure what my telling does for anyone. Affirmation, validation I suppose that is why it all began. I was seeking for those in my first blog.  In this my second blog, it’s about recovery and struggle to put myself back together again.

I had not dwelled on being a victim. In my mind I do not want to be one. I just want to get passed it. I began writing about it, because I forgot the incidents and details. Am I so forgiving, or is that what they call nature’s defense mechanism against the problem.
The problem:description  [from previous posts and links with the article on emotional abuse and 'fear to strength'] comes close to a partial representation, add being products of a narcissistic husband and father. No sympathies please.

For myself I realized I cannot remember alot of it, even some of the most horrible showdowns I faced. I had written about some of the situations in the past, here and there on paper (past 20 years), in a notebook ..but not everything , and there is still a missing diary somewhere, I wish I had written more. I suppose it is not surprising that my older son too cannot remember the scariest moment of his life but I remember.

I have learnt that in the writing of it and the record of it especially over the last 2 years(and re-reading),  the reality and frequency and horror of the situations, has helped me acknowledge that we are victims, I am a victim.
Do I have to do more to accept it?  Am I done with it. It has taught me a lot about me. It has taught me what I should not be.  I need to stop second guessing my actions to protect us.

I want to MOVE ON.

Nov 19, 2010

Staying sane (random thoughts)

Is God always testing us, when do we graduate ?

One cannot be a counselor to one's own children. Our job is to love them unconditionally and get angry conditionally.

I find comfort in the psalms than some of  the usual prayers these days, they help me to let go, and still pray. "Show me the path I should walk' is what I have repeatedly asked for these past ten years and more.
The anger builds and ebbs and churns and then empties and it wavers with the children's moods. 

Lord, hear my prayer; in your faithfulness listen to my pleading; answer me in your justice.
Do not enter into judgment with your servant; before you no living being can be just.
The enemy has pursued me; they have crushed my life to the ground.
They have left me in darkness like those long dead.
My spirit is faint within me; my heart is dismayed.
I remember the days of old; I ponder all your deeds; the works of your hands I recall.
I stretch out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
Hasten to answer me, Lord; for my spirit fails me.
Do not hide your face from me, lest I become like those descending to the pit.
At dawn let me hear of your kindness, for in you I trust.
Show me the path I should walk, for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me, Lord, from my foes, for in you I hope.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.
May your kind spirit guide me on ground that is level.
For your name's sake, Lord, give me life; in your justice lead me out of distress.
In your kindness put an end to my foes; destroy all who attack me, for I am your servant.
- Psalm 143

Nov 4, 2010

The life we have is the path we choose

I found a couple of old diaries I had kept and realize my stint in the school of gullible idiocy began way back, stemmed mostly from the insecurities of a sheltered childhood.

There's nothing for it but to know and be glad that I grew up.

I am now getting away from the biggest evil of my life and soon that part will be over.

As I go through this stage, I learn that fear is never really gone, it visits now and again when you are most vulnerable. And what makes you vulnerable, one's children.

I am advised that the children are old enough, I should not worry.

So the question I pose, 'what is the choice to make', seems simple
- to be happy or to worry,
- to live in certainty or volatility


but is it?

Oct 28, 2010

Menace still at large ..

... still in the process.

27 Oct :
 Like the menacing mosquito that hovers, that’s how it felt for a few hours. I return home early today and the hall is deserted and the house is quiet. And I realise he is back.

The boys are in their room doing their own things along with their sister who is usually in the dining room studying.

What does he do, interrogates and questions them to get a feel for their loyalty. The boys responses are unsure or was it. Disappears back to where ever he came from.
He’s gathering points I think to show I am not a perfect mum.

My dad came to check on the kids as usual. He verbally attacks him. Why does he attack my father, why does he question his kindness and care for my kids? Is he jealous or is he afraid that the kids are doing fine without him.

I talked to my dad, he tells me don't worry. I ask if they argued, he says not by his definition, although my husband raised his voice. My husband it seems imagines that the world is conspiring against him. 

What is he afraid of?

He slapped the boys earlier for some excuse (not performing some ritual they are supposed to). What is wrong with him? Like a fix he has to get, the need to kick at someone, what?.

One visit for a few hours and my youngest is stressed again, my daughter is holding her breathe and my middle child, he's frowning, unsure of the innuendos.

Need to get advise.

I'm controlling myself.. I want to scream out loud .
Can I just echo here what my youngest son said - I hate him.

Oct 24, 2010

Time to learn

"How suppressed am I, when I cannot bring myself to throw things.."

It's time to start learning new stuff....
- first make sure you know where the fuse box is and what switch is for where.
- how to change a fluorescent tube and figure what the starter is. and how it looks
- time to figure out that different bulbs have different wattage - and some slide in and some screw on ..
- how to change the plug if wiring gets shot (.. is it the green or, red or was it the earth wire ??)
- how to change the bathroom hose 
- to to fix a leaky pipe if it can be done without the plumber ... ?? what's a faucet
- how to screw back a hinge on a cupboard door that's coming apart
- how to bang a nail into the wall ( or drill ??) - there are apparently some types of materials you don't just knock a nail in, not unless you like the look of spider web cracks
- how to buy the right size furniture and practical one too .. not just because the design is pretty...


I gave birth to three children,  SO
I can do these ...

I think !


anyone know the number of a good, handy, handyman ?
  

Oct 19, 2010

Emotional recoil ...

"It is the emotional recoil that kills you, the shock of stepping off the track of a conventional lifestyle and losing all the embracing comforts that keep so many people on that track forever. To create a family with a spouse is one of the most fundamental ways a person can find continuity and meaning in society."

Elizabeth Gilbert describes the feeling quite succinctly on why divorce feels like an upheaval. While on the one hand she has hit the nail on the head for most cases, in my case, there is no shock really as I have been moving off the track for a long while now. Ironically, I will finally have continuity.  
It is a derailment of a different sort. My (overly) concern is for the shock of others in my mostly normal conventional family circle and how they might think of it and of me. Do I tell them, the whole sordid tale ?

I constantly tell my kids, stop worrying about what others think, if you are confident that it is right, then it is. What others think will not matter at your finish line.
It’s easier to preach than practice.

Oct 14, 2010

Still processing...

I've been searching but can't seem to locate bloggers who have been through the similar experiences that I have or had. I suppose not everyone is able to talk about it or share.  The domestic abuse is one thing but this divorce business is something else.

My sister is very supportive 'good riddance to bad rubbish' and so on.

I get twinges of flashbacks and momentarily wish this nightmare was just that, a nightmare.  Yesterday as I read a book and it came to the scene of a wedding, I saw that moment in my head, when my father walked me down the aisle and it brought tears to my eyes.
There's a pragmatic side that knows this is for the best, the emotional side is just weak, and mourning the waste of years.  My life since marriage has been like a garden gradually overrun by a terrible weed (- that weed being my husband-) I tried for too long. 
How forgiving should one be ? 

I am looking forward to fresh scents, brighter days,  clean air, a smoother road, consistent calm - a peaceful garden for the four of us.

Like my blogs, I shall have to separate memories to store away those moments as they turn up - good, bad and ugly.

Oct 11, 2010

Mine only

No one can be there exactly 
where  I am or have been, 
it is uniquely mine. 
The feeling of fear and fearlessness 
at once beating at each other
in a realm of emotion
winding its way to free us,
the mess of impression and expression 
is wholly mine.

(HA 2010)




"The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow.

Today I am blessed. "    

- Maya Angelou's  Letter to My Daughter

Oct 8, 2010

Thoughts ..guilt or failure

I have always attached strings to my father’s love. And know that I should not. I do not want to grieve him, and yet I feel I have.

I go about my business and my children’s, there is no story to pour out that has not come out in bits and parts over the past 2 years. It is done for me so I don’t talk about it.
How do I say ‘I don’t want you to worry’ and not get him more worried.

I am reminded, I have made him proud in many ways,
I know he does not fault me in this
and yet
still.

There will always be a part of my brain that remembers my mother's old-fashion thoughts, and that is a problem source. It's there but it doesn't dominate, just rears it's head from time to time.

I had done what I could on my own, I could not lean, I did not want to. That was for me.  Eventually I would have to stand on my own.
I held on for as long as it took.

I am relieved and sad.
 

Oct 6, 2010

Taking charge, feeling wobbly.

In my head, my plans are being laid but of course nothing really moves until it’s all settled. I’m planning close to the base line so it won’t go south so much as be an improvement.

I am a little afraid (feel it inside), not of the process or the outcome but his response. It’ll never be over for me til this is over. It is irrational I know, but I suppose you can't get rid of something that’s grown and festered for more than 12 years that quickly – fear of negative reaction, response and uncertainty.

Was it subtle advise or divine guidance, but I'm not taking the easy route just because I should, which means giving in on some fronts. This is probably the only time I am going to be able put up any kind of fight, just for the satisfaction of it.  Family court doesn’t count because as far as I am concerned he got away with it.

I am having my say, saying my peace because he doesn’t deserve an iota of positive consideration from me which is what it will be if I take the path of least resistance. I did it once for the kids, I can do it again for me - face the fear.

I may or may not achieve all of it but at least I’ll know I didn’t just give in AGAIN.

Oct 2, 2010

Most traveled road



...  from the last verse of Robert Frost's poem....
'The Road less taken. '..

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 
but when I look back, it is the road most traveled that I took and landed up here..

Sep 29, 2010

Seeking light

My face must shine,
my lips do smile
but
hidden beneath
all the while
heaviness sits
at the bottom
of the heart.
while below
feet drag.
Tomorrow begins
a new dawn.

Sep 27, 2010

Thoughts while missing in action again ...

I suppose this is going to happen now and then... I haven't had the time to post or blog visit and when I had the urge to do so ... my pc was occupied. That's what happens when you have 3 active gamers at home who love to hog the pc.
...Work has been hectic too... so very little inspiration has been flowing through.

I am behind on my course assignment, but mostly I have been trying to distract myself I think from the impending proceedings.  I am strangely not worried nor aggrieved in any way about the current process or what will soon be.  My main thoughts are on the kids and what it is going to mean for us which is mostly continuing on to the next stage in life. For them, nothing much will really change except a physical change of address and life will continue very much as it has for the past year, though they may not realize it at first

For me I suppose there is nothing to miss that has not already been missing for a long time. I look forward to live life, to laugh more freely and hope to stop grieving over naivete and for what cannot be regained.

Sep 13, 2010

.. it's all in the timing

It's like events have been timed to support, strung out to lessen the impact. Stranger things have happened I suppose.

When I was retrenched 5 years ago, it was precious time I needed to keep an eye on my father who had undergone major surgery. For the first time in his life, he needed someone to drive him around and help with the household and my mum. I had 6 months to do that before I managed to find another job. I was glad for it in the end. .. co-incidence?

This time round, I'm about to move out of this house, but not before I am able to do my part for the folks who need a temporary place with space to stay while their place is being renovated... co-incidence?

I have been unintentionally preparing myself as I accompanied them around noting how to get a new home ready, what to look out for, finding out how much furnishings and fixtures actually cost (so I have an idea) so I am more ready in a way to do those very things for myself... co-incidence.

If this had happened 2 years ago, I would not have been ready psychologically in spite of all that has passed.

It all happens ' in his time' as they say.

Sep 10, 2010

Time to get Mad...

It's been almost 2 weeks. I am holding it together, better than I expected. I suppose it is about time.

It's time to stop being a fool so I've been advised in very subtle terms. 'Time to make yourself happy' is the advise. I know why it is being said,
Let me get through the process, to get through the process I have to get mad,  worry for the kids first and then I'll see about making myself happy.

I understand.  'Where has compassion, sentiment and non-calculating behaviour gotten' me ? Nothing so it seems.

By taking away all the photos and albums what does he hope to do, think he can lay claim to it all ?

His grandmother (God rest her soul) once said to my mum if I was someone else I would have left him long ago.
She should have said if I was smarter I would have left him long ago.

I know I won't be the first nor the last.. sigh.. why are women(the unlucky ones) such saps !!

Sep 1, 2010

Time to move.... (Part 2)


There seems to be a few different descriptions of this type of abuse .. but whatever it is, it is exactly that- abuse. The abuse has cooled almost deliberately, the kids have not forgotten but he is less present so is it. .
For a long while I had wrestled with it, is it a 'grey' area; I received no affirmation from the family services here. As I mentioned before, the system here doesn't  quite work for such 'family problems'.
......................................................................................

The following articles from Suite 101.com describes much of it..... http://www.suite101.com/emotional-verbal-abuse


Emotional domestic violence is the most pervasive form of domestic abuse, yet it can be the hardest to recognize. People who experience emotional domestic abuse don’t have outward signs of abuse like victims of physical domestic violence. Emotional domestic abuse is comprised of belittling talk, constant put-downs or criticism, lying and deceit, name-calling, social isolation, controlling behavior, threats of harm to self or others, blame for actions, and guilt. In many cases, an abusive relationship will escalate from emotional abuse to physical abuse. This is not to say, however, that emotional abuse is not serious in its own right; emotional domestic violence can cause long-lasting trauma.


* Dominance: Abusers want to feel that they are in charge. To achieve this, they often make decisions for themselves and their partners without first consulting. They do not consider the other person’s thoughts or feelings, and simply expect their decisions to be followed without question.  
* Embarrassment: Most abusers shame their partners in the presence of others, thus creating a sense of worthlessness in their victims. This is done deliberately so partners feel incapable of leaving. Thus, insults, name-calling and general disrespect are prevalent in many abusive relationships. Other less obvious tactics include chiding, ridiculing or undermining the victim’s capabilities.
* Separation: Abusers isolate their partners in order to create dependency. They typically keep friends and family away and may even prohibit partners from working or attending social functions. It is not uncommon for victims of emotional abuse to require permission to engage in activities outside of the home.
* Fear: Abusers frequently use fear tactics to push their victims into submission. They may threaten to hurt themselves, their victims, the children or household pets. In addition to verbal threats are intimidating looks and actions intended to signify that they are in charge.
* Blame: Abusers never want their actions named or confronted. To avoid this, they commonly blame their victims for their behavior. In other instances, abusive partners excuse themselves by saying they have a bad job, are experiencing pressure from work or home or do not feel appreciated. In other words, their actions are never their own.


To this end, the emotional state of an abuser often changes without notice. Therefore, he or she may be able to disguise verbal assaults or blanket them with later kindness. This makes the victim feel that he or she may have over-reacted to the initial incident. Thus, a vicious cycle of fear and guilt begins to form within the victim.


Signs of Emotional Abuse
Studies indicate that the after-effects of emotional abuse can be long-lasting and deeply-entrenched. Once they leave an abusive relationship, some women report an inability to trust. Others feel uncomfortable around people and fearful of how they are perceived.

Persons who are in emotionally abusive relationships often experience some of the following emotions:
* fear of their partner* general feelings of helplessness and anxiety
* desire to avoid certain subjects that may upset their partner
* compulsion to concur with their partner on all matters just to maintain peacejavascript:void(0)
* worry that their partner will suddenly become angry


 We are also products of  Narcissistic Personality.   (©1998-2004 by Joanna M. Ashmun.)

Aug 31, 2010

Time to move (Part 1)

Entry to Journal1: 30 Aug 2010:

It came this morning, the writ, to the office, my receptionist may have seen it. It was not even in an envelope, but the courier insisted to hand it to me.

Yes I thought evil, why not to the house? Justice will prevail so they say, I hope it does (I'm mad, mad is good, better than mushy).

He is a real ##$ss#, he knows his daughter is doing her exams soon; he chooses to do this now.

Not sure what I feel, there's a kind of loss.....

Not sure who to tell ... running through my head.....

'Let me go see the lawyer first' I thought to myself, take control.... ... my instincts were right ... I guess my heart didn't quite want to follow as quickly...
I feel so tired, I'm telling myself don't give in to this helpless feeling... most importantly I can't let it affect work.
My fren said ' many would stay for the kids... but is that the way to live! kids can adapt as long as you keep communicating, they will understand '.
I suppose it can be but sometimes it is better than the uncertainty of the outcome, .. the outcome has to do with the kids; kids now and 10 yrs from now can be of different minds And I just don't want to leave that window open. So on the one hand I am glad but on the other not really .. yes it means I can move on but for the kids it's another changing stressful chapter......
 

I'm afraid of the process... one step at a time.
I don't trust him .. that adds to it..he is malicious and evil what else can I expect ?

I hope then God is on my side whether he approves of divorce or not !

Aug 27, 2010

Labour and love.

Steadily it continues to tick,
changing seasons...
mothers persevere,
even as time moves,
but still we lag.
We slow our steps
to give way to those we love,
they move forward.

Is it the irony of our existence
or  a God-given instinct
- how it was and is to be,
to give all and have less.
To grow big with child,
and loose more of self.
That love should hold us back
to ensure they do not lack.
To gain satisfaction from that fruit,
to pour all into one
who may walk away
and leave us
alone.

And finally we are left in this place,
of memories of expressions
and moments,
in our precious possession.

- HA

Aug 25, 2010

What is my vocation, am I done ?

Viktor Frankl wrote that  "One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced nor can his life be repeated." . We each have a unique responsibility to our own life ?.

Do you know yours?

So then I ask, is this my vocation, is this my meaning .. to live this way, to find my way in this strange life of conflict, to lead my kids out of it?


lament ...... life is not fair.. why do some people have it so easy.. .. I am to be consoled then with the answer at the end of the parable of the prodigal son ?

Aug 18, 2010

A day in the Life - Interact not react, express don't suppress...

My middle child has always been the least expressive and that can be credited to his father.  And yet for these past long stretches of time when the father has been away, I had assumed kid2 had overcome this problem since his quick temper seemed to imply he was not suppressing his angry outbursts.

But I am wrong.  The old conditioning has gone much deeper

The reason for his current bursts of anger is because he is unable to express and communicate what he feels or thinks. He merely reacts with anger to a sibling confrontation, absorbs it without arguing the point of the matter or reasoning it out; walks away. Yes he may throw back an accusation like  'you also do it ' but does not speak up on what is running through his head on the subject nor maintain a stand for himself. And when the other party continues with the badgering of the 'bad action' he merely explodes out of frustration.

Like a balloon, I explain to him, if he is able to argue for himself (by expression) the frustration would not build up and he would be able to let out some of the air and maintain control. Otherwise it finally bursts like his outburst.
To my dismay, what it also means is that he not able to interact on a personal level comfortably with his siblings.

I hope it is not too late to start.

So we learn, from a particular blowup of one Saturday morning, and we will work on that.
I will help him... practise to get words out , 'talk about your thoughts and feelings, you have as much right to voice them'.

Aug 8, 2010

Feeling wobbly

'rough waters'
Now and then the old fears leap back into my heart and the old thoughts sneak in.  It's like this whenever he returns. I am still waiting for the next stone to be thrown. It seems safe and then I begin to wonder about his plotting.
I have not written in my first blog (of painful memories) for a while since December, but today I had to add to it because those chapters are not quite closed.

The children are safe, he can't hurt them anymore (he's cunning so he will control his anger); but are they safe from his mind games ?.

I know there is no way for him to win them, they still remember too much.
I have been through that thought process and I know that I will not loose them even if he tries to buy their hearts. And yet I can't shake it completely.

If you have read  or followed  my story you might be able to understand what I feel at the moment otherwise it 's probably really abstract. It's been more than year since I took that first step to restrain. It was for the kids (tiny steps forward ). Should I have done more for myself, could I ?

Ironically, the only way to become less afraid and do away with it altogether, is to stop thinking about that and think about the worst case scenario and what that means. Once I deal with that, I will be able to move forward from that old fear.

Take charge, . .I climb a little and then seem to slide back some..

Aug 2, 2010

It's What You Make of It: Take Charge!

'Life is what you make of it'... written by Amy a guest writer on ourmommyhood.com

.. great advice and wonderful encouragement to be the person you are.

Jul 22, 2010

Leaning on your Child ?

(My encounter with a friend’s child raised many questions, she’s a single mom with 2 kids.)

Is it right to look to your child (who has not reached twenty) for emotional support even if you think he or she is capable of it ?
Is it right to make him/her feel obligated in that role at so early an age.

How much responsibility is too much for a child? Is it maturity or a child’s ‘over-sense’ to take care of mum. She says ‘I should’ not ‘I want’.

What does it strangle in childhood development?

Does she hold back her emotions because of this role? (I suppose she does if she decided to open up to me, I meet them irregularly 2-3 mths once.)

Are they afraid to upset mom?

My friend has always interacted with her children in a ‘whiny’ sort of way, in a adult to adult manner and not so much as child and mother, they always do things together, she always gets the older girl to help her do things, is how I would describe it, ….is my friend clingy .. I’m not there to observe all that .

I broached the subject with my friend as delicately as a friend can, but she sort of brushed it aside ‘don’t worry, my child tells me everything’.

Does she?
I will stay in touch with the older girl and let her mum use my ears more.

It set me thinking of course, do I lean on my child’s shoulder ? I don’t think we should do that, do you ?
Do any of my kids think that ?

Jul 19, 2010

Slow healing - my own way

Is there a formula for healing? I think not. 
The steps are different each time for everyone.

'Pray always, ask God for guidance and peace'...
Sage advice, yes, I kept up the prayer and I followed the bible passages but I realised 'I am not thinking further or moving '. They gave me comfort and calm and they helped me accomplish that first phase but now I'm not sure to where or what I need, to move forward, the answers are not forthcoming. 

Perhaps the answers or the inspiration to move on are not to be found there now but has to come from elsewhere, from myself, or from the kids or from an action or experience.

There is still cause for anxiety, but I'm no longer frozen, it's been a year, I need to work the emotional and the self independence, push on, stop waiting for the unknown.  

I'm not saying I've cut off my faith or anything like that, just that faith now has a different role to play.
God still has a place but not as my crutch. 

Jul 15, 2010

Where have I been ?


I 've been nowhere in particular, just missing in action on this front. 

Been thinking about the me as a mother. What should I do or what do I need to do ?.

It comes down to what I need to do for me before I can take care of the what I should do for the kids.

If you are a lone parent, you might understand what I am saying. 



I'm sorry for not visiting many of you lately, but I will come.

Jun 28, 2010

The mind of a 9 year old....

Lately I've been trying to deal with some issues that my youngest son seems to have developed.
He's more mature for his age, thinks more about the burdens of life as a child as opposed to just enjoying.

He is hyper, I believe I have mentioned it before. When he plays he forgets, but when he stops playing all manner of 'worries' seem to creep into his head- mostly the stuff that he does not like to do. And those things seem to weigh down on him. He uses the word 'stress' easily when he actually means he is angry at being forced to do them - simple things like doing some written work particularly the 2nd language, his brother's put down, curbing his play time or has unfinished homework that worries..
Boredom builds fast for him so he constantly needs to be occupied but within the occupation he soon looses interest too. It's hard to keep his mind on a non-action subject for long.

So one I've been giving him examples of more stressful possibilities that have/ could have occurred in our lives to define what stress really could be (he understands that better than most [glad he seems to have forgotten];and two, I have also been trying to get him to understand that he needs to mend his attitude otherwise he's not going to be able to cope with what he calls life and will always have this problem because others are not giving him his freedom. His expectations seem more complicated for a child.

I have to keep at it for it to work. ................       .so many little things to keep at ...

How do you explain what the job of a kid is to a kid?



Jun 23, 2010

Revising my Lease on life

I made mistakes and that is what I should learn from rather than try to forget them. When I think of them, I think, why was I so naive, I wish I had been more mature and had been more exposed to see the bad and recognize the abnormal and be less forgiving.

Now it's easier, I remember but have stopped dwelling on it in an oppressive obsessive way. It's time to go past that. I can't undo the past that has led to the here and now, nor wish it away because there's too much there to change, and much I don't wish to change.

These are what I can't share openly and that is why I have this blog. It is the negative expressions, the heavy hearted-ness of thought that are poured out here. Call these my troubled pages. While I might be ready to share some and reveal more of that sad existence with the adults of my circle,  I don't think the kids are ready for the reception of the knowing by relatives or cousins, aunts and uncles whether it is in sympathy or not.

When I started this blog, it was part of the healing, I suppose I am on my way to a new (or revised) lease on life.
All who know me(outside blog land) only see the shiny side of me and the optimist (only my dad knows my 'not so ordinary' troubles). I say 'not ordinary' because this concept of trouble would be quite alien to the normal persons I know.  They don't ask anymore where my husband is or why the children's father do not join us at social functions ?
I want to move on as the pain of the bad fades, I wish to express those thoughts and events that are part of daily life - the pragmatic side of life that is the open book among all I know. Dwelling on life now or to be is a better exercise too I think. So I began another blog that is not hidden, that is open, one that posts about more practical stuff and other  moments of my life, my kids' life, to remember, no heavy emotions or dark thoughts or fears.
If you do comes across it or recognise me,  that's ok. You know me better after all.
I'm not ending off here, life's not perfect YET.   These are are still part of who I am and was.

One day I might link them both.

Jun 18, 2010

Want

If God could say Yes,
why does he say No?
Why not ease our way, just bless.
Ah but then, like I say to my child,
if life were too easy you'd get bored.
For that which we want, we must go the mile,
and that is why we must plod.
It is of little worth, anything too easily got,
so we work to raise its’ price.
Our needs He knows though I may not,
delivering them before my unseeing eyes.
Off and on I glimpse but for a moment appreciate.
When the fog lifts, so too the weight.
Then I return to the routine
of wants and whining.


(HA-2010)

Jun 16, 2010

School hols - tough on me

It’s the school hols, the long mid year break.
It’s tough being a working mum and tougher during school breaks.

I don’t have that many days of annual leave to take off, so it's quite hard to plan outings around. Annual leave totals 11 days only (call the company stingy.. whatever.. that’s life).  I seriously envy those who have 20 or more days leave.

I sneer and roll my eyes at politicians who babble about work-life balance and push pro-family wonders (where's the time to enjoy it) and can't figure why this country can't grow it's population. Well the happy-go-lucky young have one answer and the experienced have a different response. Good luck to the politicians.

I always wish I can do more with them during their hols, I would like to spend more time with the kids but I can’t afford to. I keep 1 or 2 days for Christmas and some days for the second big break at the end of the year and of course a 1 or 2 for possible emergencies. Sounds pathetic, I agree.
This year I decided the schools would have to meet my timing after office hours for any compulsory PT stuff (if they weren't scheduled on a Saturday), they are not entitled to my leave.

My girl is busy with the major exam that is not too far down the road, and the boys essentially entertain themselves with their electronic games and TV.
You’d think they have more than enough to occupy themselves, yet they still get bored. Grandparents help but I don't want them to bother much, it is their time to relax and the kids can be stressful.

It’s difficult trying to get them to follow some work schedule(to keep in touch with the books) when you are not there. In the office, I am more distracted by their phone calls and keeping track of what they are doing at home.

Sigh....more leave would be good...

Jun 15, 2010

Jun 14, 2010

Make a list - time to unclog the pipes...

My melancholy moments are stored mostly here in my blog,
I try not to carry it with me for others to see...
or be dragged down with.
In the home, mostly there is no time for it,
the kids have their many temperamental moments.

Lately, for a while now, things have piled up I suppose, that's why.  It's more like a heavy fog than a depression that weighs down on my memory, there are things that need to be done and things that need to be corrected yet cannot be controlled.

Let's try making a list, perhaps it 'll become clearer to know what I can change and what I can't,  perhaps some things can get moving and out of the way. 

Jun 12, 2010

Auto mode ...

Took a break, went camping with the kids but it wasn't as relaxing as I thought it would be.  It was good exercise, my bones were aching from the aftermath but...

After some time life becomes routine again.
I want change. I keep thinking of change, a more lasting memory, a more fulfilling experience ?.

To do things slowly, more deliberately,  to think more of the doing than the getting done.

My head is full of things to do, the list never ends.
I go through each day almost robotically.
Nagging the kids seems automatic, even if it's for different antics.
Going through the motions, eating, showering, cleaning, fixing ...

I want to slow it down, change the pace,
to feel more in the here and now.

It's probably just a phase ...my last post on this was in 9/2009 routines-living-in-auto-mode.

Jun 2, 2010

Two at a time...

I got two lovely awards from Betty of Cut and Dry, thank you Betty they do certainly cheer up one's day and adds to the to-do list....:)


The "sunshine award" ... well just pass it on to 12 of your favourite bloggers...


The other award is the 'Versatile Blogger',  and while I got this from Betty first, I was also presented with it again from the Wanderer  a day later. Thank you.

You have to do some 'soul searching' for this one ..
 The rules for " The Versatile Blogger" award are:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2.. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers whom you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

... 7 things about me

  1. I can't go without a new book for more than a week.. otherwise I get withdrawal symptoms.
  2. I need a chocolate fix every 3 to 4 days...otherwise I get withdrawal symptoms.
  3. I absolutely love dogs in general but there's something about the Chihuahua that I don't like but I can't figure out what!
  4. I can't seem to work in space that is cluttered.
  5. I often wish I could play the piano or the organ.
  6. I don't have 20/20 vision, I don't dare try lasik.
  7. I grew up in a very non-expressive household.

Go ahead pick one or both (make your day..) and pass em on......

And here are my choices:
  1. Sarah
  2. Donetta
  3. Locating My Life ..
  4. http://abundantliving-tracy.blogspot.com/
  5. http://arise2write.blogspot.com/
  6. http://stephaniebaffone.blogspot.com
  7. http://mamaswithdrama.blogspot.com/
  8. http://justbereal77.blogspot.com/
  9. Be Inspired Today by Julieanne 
  10. Nevine's Dreams and Deliriums
  11. Just Me 
  12. Alice in Wonderland
  13. Farila of Chapters From My Life 
  14. Journey of A Single Mum 
  15. When did I become my mom

May 24, 2010

Keep It Together

Keep it together today,
tomorrow will be better.
In suffering we grow He says,
yet I feel weak rather than mightier.

Perhaps it’s not yet the peak,
there’s a way to go.
How far does He wish to push me?
I wish I could know.

The right words are in my mind,
but little comfort do I feel from those.
Faith and hope are powerful tools,
if only I remember to keep them close.

I have their love and struggles to contend with,
my own I must lay low.
But then, at least their paths 
will surely be better than before.

(HA - 2010)

May 19, 2010

A Day in the Life..... coping yet not.!

The days seem to move by fast, the exams are over for now. Last weekend, I took the kids out after breakfast.  Crazy ! Yes, since the HEAT has been excessive.
I thought, let's get them out of the house for a while before it gets too hot (which is an understatement) and away from the Gameboys,  game consols and PC, I'm sure you get the picture. 
I also thought it would be good for me,  provided I could also have an air-conditioned suit made. A few hours wouldn't kill me, we'd be back after lunch. What I needed and what I've been needing for a while now, is some quiet.

I took them to the beach for a couple of hours, one rode a bike and the other two roller bladed and of course there was much complaining after that - skin abrasions,  this too tight and that worn out and .. muscles aching .. , . goodness I thought what are they going to be like at 30 !. 
I sat by myself in the warm shade, read some but mostly observed the beach, the water,  people and dogs around me. I got my quiet for a couple of hours, when the kids were off on their jaunt, but it was not enough;  I don't think I really sank into it..

Lately the buzz at home gets to me. Sometimes I can't seem to organise the kids. The moment I step into the house, they bombard me with narratives, instructions from school, their itinerary for the day , the next day and 'can I do this' and 'can I go to a friend's house tomorrow or can I go to the park etc etc etc. Mostly it's late, and I 'handle it' , and try to cover as much ground with them. Time seems to be my worst enemy like a stalker.  
I forget I'm in charge but go with the flow of what needs to get done. And then,  every  1 out of 2 nights, there will be two (any) who get noisy and quarrelsome among themselves,  and all I want to do is yell at them and chase them to bed.

Little things just add to the irritation - untidy desk, books not stored away, loose stationery etc.  I just deal and cope with it.  I 'm tired, I try to read to get away, ignore the buzz, but am not relaxed.

You know what they say about repressing emotions, sooner or later it will find an out.

I don't know if this situation is unique or quite common. I suppose it is time for a time-out but some action is needed as well .

May 11, 2010

The Way to Live.

It seems that everything I read , any inspiritional piece of work points in one direction. In striving TO LIVE, it must be done not for ourselves and or there must be some form of suffering;  else we will find little meaning in life or that life will find little meaning in us.


I mentioned Art E Berg's book a while back Some Miracles Take Time, well I re-read it and it still gives me goosebumps.  There's so much faith and hope in this true story I can't help thinking that the ending will change and  be a happier one.

Here's another inspiring quote that goes with this train of thought that I would like to remember and share: 

From Teddy Roosevelt:
"It's not the critic who counts, ...  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strive valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without err and shortcoming.

Who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, spends themsleves in a worthy triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Be Happy

May 3, 2010

Missing the silence.. keep smiling...

I have missed the silence for a while now. There has been preparation for one function or event after another.  There's been something on every weekend for the past string of weekends and I'm looking forward to just staying home or catching a movie with the kids.

Work has also taken its toll, I haven't had much breathing room. It's like the runaway train at this time, I keep trying to catch up.  I am waiting for it to slow down again. Back log is really like a burden dragging behind you. . It's a cycle.. soon  it'll be back to the usual.... chin up...!.


I'd like to leave you smiling with  an old favourite -  life explained..

On the first day God created the cow. God said,
"You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer.
I will give you a life span of sixty years." The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years.
Let me have twenty and I'll give back the other forty." And God agreed.

On the second day God created the dog. God said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said, "That's too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I'll give you back the other ten." So God agreed (sigh).

On the third day God created the monkey. God said, "Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh.
I'll give you a twenty year life span." The monkey said, "How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years? I don't think so.
Dog gave you back ten, so that's what I'll do too, Okay God agreed.

On the fourth day God created man. God said, "Eat, sleep, play, enjoy. Do nothing, just enjoy, enjoy. I'll give you twenty years."
Man said, "What? Only twenty years?" No way man.
Tell you what, I'll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back, and the ten the dog gave back and the ten the monkey gave back, that makes eighty, okay?" "Okay," said God. "You've got a deal."

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, enjoy, and do nothing;
for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family;
for the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren;
and for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained.

Apr 27, 2010

Tribute to wonderful Individuals

Two very elderly ladies passed away recently. Both were in their 90s. Both lived life fully.

Both were indirectly associated to me through familiar family around me.

The first one who died, had become senile for a few years now but she was still strong and mobile. This lady had one daughter and son-in-law who looked after her very well in their home until the end of her days. They had the patience, strength and the perseverence despite their own aging issues, both are into their 60s, both are soft spoken and lovely people. They gave her their all eventhough God had not blessed them with children of their own.

The second lady passed away just over this last weekend. I only met her at the wedding of her granddaughter just the weekend before that. She was so frail looking, sitting in a wheel chair yet full of life, smiling and chatting away. After the wedding couple did their first dance, they invited guests to the dance floor and she hobbled out of her chair holding on to the arm of one of her sons and did a short jig with the couple with her little bit of strength. I thought then how marvellous for her and the bride - what a sporting old lady.

So I was saddened and quite shocked to hear what happened. She was also blessed.
Many of her relatives, siblings were bound back to where ever they had come from - the Middle East, US, Australia and UK but most were held back because of the volcanic ash. Even the new bride(granddaughter) and groom, were still 'stuck' here and so she had her loved ones with her to take that final journey with.

Inspiring I think, we should not dwell on age or size or aches or on our limitations too much, just live fully and do and
we will.

Life is only as long as you live it.

Apr 21, 2010

Hope for Life .. from Victor Frankl

Words to ponder....
Viktor E Frankl - 'Man's Search for Meaning , The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust'

The meaning of life ....' it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us'...

'Life ultimately means taking responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.'

'Every situation is distinquished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand.'


The answer lies in right action, and right conduct. Man must have a 'why' and that will determine his 'how.

This true story is a truly inspiring read and offers much hope for man. 

Apr 15, 2010

Altruism ... is it dead?

'altruism is dead' .. someone said this and set me thinking....
Can anyone be truly altruistic?  Me thinks, it is impossible. 
It is defined as selfless concern for the welfare of others.

A lady on the train gives up her seat to the pregnant one. She didn't do it spontaneously, she did it because 3 pairs of eyes were boring into her and I think that made her uncomfortable.
There are times when I think that I would rather not sit at all, 'just let someone else have it'. That's not being altruistic, I 'm just avoiding the hassle of relaxing and then having to give it up to someone. 

Is it possible in this day and age to be kind for kindness sake. Morality and courtesy are preached as correct and appropriate behaviour.   Is there an expectation of future returns as they say 'one good turn deserves another'.  We constantly seem to look ahead.

When I buy someone a cup of tea, do they feel obliged, do I expect them to feel obliged? 
When someone buys me a cup of tea, I do feel obliged.  Can I forget it, and treat it as an altruistic offer ?.

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